Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse says they would have loved the opportunity to play against the British & Irish Lions, but explained that their Currie Cup schedule would make such a fixture tricky.
News broke earlier in the week that the Lions’ match against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday had been postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests within the Bulls camp.
On Wednesday, the Lions suffered a setback of their own when they were forced to make eight changes to their match-day 23 to face the Sharks on Wednesday night after one player and staff member tested positive for coronavirus. Following further PCR testing on Wednesday, eight Lions players and four members of staff had been placed in isolation at the team hotel.
As it turned out, the game went ahead with the Lions defeating the Sharks 54-7.
It has come to light the Lions are busy working with SA Rugby to organise a replacement match on Saturday. The Pumas were mentioned as a possible opponent, although the B&I Lions are now set for a rematch with the Sharks at Ellis Park.
When contacted by SARugby.co.za, Stonehouse admitted that while a fixture against the Lions would be a dream come true, but suggested it was not realistic given they are scheduled to play the Cheetahs in a Currie Cup match on Friday.
“I heard the rumours and we would love to do it,” Stonehouse said. “It would be great exposure and a learning curve for my players.
“But we play the Cheetahs tomorrow. We cannot play on Friday and Saturday. Let’s hope it [playing against the Lions] becomes a reality in the next week maybe.”
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